My father has to execute an affidavit which he needs to submit in order to claim his benefits. Can we ask assistance from your office? We cannot afford to get a private lawyer because my father has already stopped working due to his illness and I am only selling newspapers and candies for a living.
Apart from the rendition of legal assistance to clients concerning their judicial and quasi-judicial cases, the lawyers of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) also render non-judicial services which include legal counseling and documentation, administering of oaths, mediation and conciliation of disputes, as well as outreach activities and programs (Section 1, Article X, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Operations Manual).
In the situation that you have presented before us, it would be best for your father to visit our district office which has jurisdiction over his place of residence so that he can personally confer with one of our lawyers and be assisted in accordance with existing PAO laws, rules and regulations. Our district offices are usually located at or near the municipal hall, city hall, provincial hall or hall of justice of each respective municipality, city or province.
Please inform your father to bring with him all the pertinent documents relating to his concern during his visit to our district office for proper assessment of our lawyers, as well as a valid government-issued identification for the administration of his oath. In addition thereto, your father must bring any of the following proofs of indigency: (a) Pay slip, income tax return or any other proof of income; (b) Certificate of indigency issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which has jurisdiction over the place of his residence; or (c) Certificate of indigency issued by the Barangay where he resides (Section 3, Article II, id).
Should your father be able to present any of the above-stated proof of indigency and qualify as an indigent client of our office, one of our lawyers from our district office will assist him in the execution of his affidavit. He also does not need to be concerned about the cost of the execution of such affidavit as the services rendered by our office are free of charge.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org